UK MoD awards £2.5 million contract for autonomous submarine development

Photo: MSubs

A new type of extra-large autonomous test submarine will be developed for the Royal Navy following a new Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) contract award by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

An initial £1 million (US$1.31 million) contract has been awarded to Plymouth-based MSubs to build a test submarine that will be used to explore the potential capabilities of larger uncrewed underwater vehicles in the future.

Measuring about nine metres in length, the submarine will be significantly larger than autonomous submarines used for beach reconnaissance and will be capable of operating at a range of 3,000 nautical miles. Missions will include covert intelligence gathering and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

If initial testing is successful, up to a further £1.5 million (US$1.97 million) will be available to further test the new capability.

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